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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 12, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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well, from sitting here at the anchor desk and being on the ground, when that unrest happens. chris, we are going to get to it. thank you, sir. i will see you later on. i appreciate the coverage. this is "cnn tonight." i am don lemon. we are following the breaking news tonight. new protests tonight after the police-shooting death of daunte wright in brooklyn septcenter, minnesota. want to get straight now to the ground. shimon prokupecz on the ground. shimon, take it away. what are you seeing. >> >> yeyeah, so, don, police a continuing to fire these pepper balls at the protestors. as the protestors get closer, they are firing these pe pepper balls, tear gas, flash bangs and i just want to show you this picture here, don. sorry, we're just moving around, because, really, just trying to stay out of the way here. more police officers. they're trying to clear this area, and so, this is what they're doing. they are pushing people back, coming in formation. you can see there, they're
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making an arrest, don. so, that's been -- this has been ongoing, now, for -- for over an hour, now. where the police have been -- there, you see an officer. >> shimon, can we just listen in, for a little bit? >> we are just trying to -- we're going to go back this way. >> you need to move back, now. >> yes. >> so, shimon is there on the ground, shimon. and i -- shimon, are you getting tear gas? >> yeah. they -- i'm okay. it's been -- it's been constant, but it doesn't last very long. and i think that's because of the rain, and just the precipitation in the air. yeah. i mean, this has been for the -- for the better part of the last hour. our entire crew, our producer, our security teams, all, have just been here for the last hour and this has been constant, from the police here, the tear gas and the flash bangs. and it's strong. and you can, certainly, feel it in your eyes, and in the back of
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your throat. but what's different here, don, is this is the closest, sort of, that we have seen the police move through this area. for all the way through 9:00, really. this entire area was surrounded by many of the people in the crowd. they have, now, kind of, dispersed. and are on the outskirts of this area. so, the police have been successful in pushing them back. >> shimon, i want you to -- >> but that's what's going on now. police, continuing to try and push more people back. >> i want you to stand by, shimon. and be careful out there. we are going to keep some of your pictures up, just so you know. we want to bring the mayor in. shimon, we might come right back to you as soon as we get the mayor in. mayor mike elliot joins us -- senator of brooklyn center. who is directing the police? what's happening? >> yes, hello. obviously, [ inaudible ] situation. unfortunately, you know, expressing their anger at, yet,
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another black man who was killed at the hands of law enforcement. and in a place, not too far from where george floyd was murdered. [ inaudible ] is still under way. and in so many ways, this -- this feels, as -- as though, there's a band-aid on a wound that hadn't healed, yet. >> mayor. mayor, can i jump in just for a second? mayor, if you can move to a better-cell area, i don't know if you can move to a window or outside. we are having some breakup on your side. and we would love to get your information, as clearly as possible. >> is that better? >> that is better, sir. so, my question is, earlier, you relieved the city manager of his duties. who is directing the police, right now? >> so right now, the orders are
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coming from the regional-command center. they're not coming from -- from me. they're not coming from my department. and -- and so, the folks right now executing those orders are the -- the state patrol, national guard, and those other law-enforcement agencies, the sheriff's department, that are under the auspices of the regional-command center that's been established by the governor. >> so, mayor, as we -- we're watching this unfold, now, live. our reporter, shimon prokupecz, is out, right in front of the police department. can you tell us, what is -- do you know, then, if you are not directing them. then, what is -- what are the orders here? what's the goal here? what are they being told? >> well, we want people to go home. obviously, people are -- are -- are still upset.
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and -- but the goal, right now, is to try and disperse the crowd. and try and get people to go home. obviously, the governor has a curfew in place. that was in place since [ inaudible ] p.m. now, to disperse the crowds and try and get people to go home. i'm asking for people to go home. you know, and -- and be able to protest, at a time, you know, when -- when not engaging -- you know, we're not having to engage with law enforcement, you know, at -- at a time like this. >> so, mayor, i want you to stand by. don't go anywhere. i just want to update our viewers. if you are just joining us, you are watching the unrest happen in brooklyn center, minnesota. not far from where the incident with george floyd happened, last summer, in minneapolis, minnesota.
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and as this trial is going on. we have the mayor on the phone. it's a little bit difficult to hear what he has to say, but it's important that we have him on. because he is the person who is in charge of this city. also, relieving the brooklyn-city manager, kurt bagani, of his duties earlier. and we have the mayor on the phone. mayor, why did you relieve the city manager of his duties? what was the reason for that? >> well, city council took that action, collectively, to relieve the city manager. it was a 4-5 -- i'm sorry, 4-1 vote, because they felt that there was some lack of leadership, early on, in -- in helping with the situation. the city manager, in our -- in our form of government, has command and control over the police department. and -- and so, because of the way that things unfolded, the city council chose to take that
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action, collectively. to relieve the city manager and appoint the acting-city manager, in that -- in that role. and then, also, appoint me, the mayor, to take command of the -- of the police, which is part of our city charter. in times of emergency, like this, city council can appoint a mayor to -- to lead the department. and working getting things back to normal. >> you are watching, on your screen, a standoff between police and protestors in brooklyn center, minnesota, right now. we have the mayor of brooklyn center on, right now. this current unrest is because of the fatal-police shooting of daunte wright, following a traffic stop, on sunday in brooklyn center. the officer, tonight, has been identified, mayor, as officer kim potter. that's according to a press release from the minnesota bureau of criminal apprehensions.
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potter has been with the bro brooklyn pd for 26 years. what do you know about that, mayor? anything? >> you know, i -- i -- so i don't know much about the officer's record. obviously, this is still unfolding. the situation is still unfolding. and i've been dealing with an active situation here, today. but that is correct. that was the officer that is involved that -- that shot and killed daunte wright. and, you know, more information will -- will come out about the officer, and about her tenure here on the -- on the department. but, you know, i -- before -- before we go further, i just want to express my condolences to daunte's family. i had a chance to speak with his farther, earlier today. i didn't get a chance to the mother but i will. i will say, they were just so gracious. the family's just so gracious, even in this time of -- of hurt. and all they want -- all they want is just justice to be done
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fo transparency and accountability. and that is what we are committed to doing. so, you know, i'm calling on all -- all of the -- the -- the folks who are -- care about what happened and the folks who are protesting. protesting is -- is -- is your right. it is important. don, i'm asking everybody to go home. we need to keep the peace, in our city. we need to make sure that there's -- there's a -- where people can gather peacefully in a community to express nar grief. >> mayor, we appreciate that you are here, and we know that this is very important. so if you will just stand by and take a couple more questions, we would appreciate it. so -- even more than we do now. so, listen. >> i do -- i do have time for just a couple of -- couple of more. >> i understand. i understand. and when you have to jump, just let us know. so, do you accept the view -- i mentioned the officer, earlier. the officer has been named. her name is officer kim potter. been with the department for 26
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years. do you accept the view, earlier, that was expressed by the police chief, that the shooting of daunte wright was an accident, by this officer? >> i'm sorry. i -- i cannot comment on that, right now. >> you -- you cannot comment because? >> i cannot comment because there -- there are processes. review processes they're going through right now. that -- that do not allow me to comment on that particular question. but i'm -- i'm -- i'm happy to talk about that, at a later date. >> okay. as to the situation that we are watching unfold on -- on our television now -- on our televisions across the country. listen. it's reminiscent of what happened the summer of unrest, the late spring and summer of unrest, in minneapolis. and then, across the country. can you -- now, i don't know if you would deem this -- this situation in control or out of
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control. but can you assure the people there, in your town, that things are under control, are going to be under control? brought under control tonight? >> absolutely. we are working to make sure that things are under control. that is the goal, ultimately. and, you know, there -- there are multiple command centers that have been established. the -- the -- the -- the -- establishing the security of -- of our city. and so, you know, that is our goal, and that is what we're working toward. i just want everybody to know that, ultimately, we will get back to -- to -- to -- to normal. but i -- and normal is not enough, right? for so many of our community members. but we are working actively to secure the safety of our community. and at the same time, to make sure that we are, as much as we can, treat the folks who are gathered here humanely.
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unfortunately, you know, there -- there is a command center that's been established that is, largely, you know, in control of the law-enforcement personnel right now. >> mayor mike elliot of brooklyn center, minnesota. mayor, we appreciate your time. we know it's a very busy and tense time for you. if you get a minute, we would appreciate having you back here on cnn because we will be covering it live. thank you. i want to get to cnn's sara sidner, now, who is live on the scene. sara, your viewpoint. what are you seeing? >> we are seeing police move, very slowly, but very methodically. we are standing in between two buildings that are the apartment complex. it's a large-apartment complex. but what you are seeing just past me, and going to zoom in to show you. it looks like there is a bus, that is a police van, a large one there. it looks like there are two of them. and we are told that they -- and you can see, police with
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riot gear, now, coming closer and closer to the few protestors that are now, still, left around here. we know that a lot of the protestors moved down the street, towards the dollar store. but, you are seeing the officers, slowly and methodically, push people forward. you, sometimes, hear flash bangs. you, sometimes, see a spotlight that is shining on people. and you are, also, seeing fireworks that are being shot off by folks who are protesting here. and we just have to remember, and i have to always remind, when you see a scene like this. part of this is because people are so angry about what happened with an officer. the officer, we, now, know is kim potter, who shot and killed a young man, 20 years old, daunte wright. because they had stopped him for his license plate was expired. this is another firework. don't be alarmed. it's just a firework. and -- and people just could not believe that another black man had been killed by an officer. especially, since there was a
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lot of tension here, and still is, because the trial of former-officer derek chauvin is going on for being accused of murdering george floyd. and as that is going on, and as people are nervous about how that is going to end, this is happening. we are going to get out of the way. folks are starting to run, because police are starting to push further and further into the neighborhood. and i'm just sort of going to come up here. but we are at a vantage point. you can hear things flying back and forth. you can hear people throwing things. but you can, also, hear the officers sort of using their less-than-lethal rounds towards the public here. you see water bottles being thrown. and you can see -- you hear that? you hear that back and forth? that is ftear gas. let's show a little bit. so, you see that, there. they are shooting tear gas, at someone that has a shield. and you'll -- you'll see that flair up. and, boy, the tear gas that they are using, don, and i know you have had your bouts with tear
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gas. this is the strongest tear gas i have ever faced during a protest. it seems that it is cs gas but i don't have that confirmed but it is extremely strong. it's, like, military-grade tear gas. that is the scene right now. the precinct, you'll see, lit up in the background. that is where people were sort of banging on the fence, throwing fireworks, throwing water bottles. the police, responding with less-than-lethal rounds, and responding with a lot of tear gas. they have moved most the protestors out. hundreds and hundreds of people were here about half-an-hour ago. they are mostly gone. but there are still people yelling at the police. there are still people standing here and they say they are not leaving even though it's a curfew because they feel like the police need to answer to what happened to daunte wright. don. >> sara sidner, joining us now. and, sara, you're right. you get a good whiff of the tear gas, and it just -- it -- it's uncomfortable. and you are not able to concentrate, or to even get
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words out, for quite some time. sara sidner, joining us, now, live, in minnesota. we will continue to watch the scene here, as sara is on the scene. shimon prokupecz, as well. these protecsts happening aftera young man, 20-year-old daunte wright, shot and killed by police yesterday. a routine-traffic stop that turned deadly. the officer -- or the police chief saying that the officer made a mistake. that, she mistook her stun gun -- she mistook a gun for her stun gun and then, ended up fatally shooting the young man as he was trying to get away from a routine-police stop. there, you see, the police officers now, in front of the -- of the police station. again, a rainy night in brooklyn center. and here, we have unrest, very close to a year to the unrest that happened last summer over the death of george floyd. that trial, for the police officer, who is accused in the killing of george floyd happening now. that trial, ongoing. and now, we have this unrest. we are going to continue to
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follow this. don't go away. we have a very short break we need to get in. we are going to come back and got our folks on the scene. the mayor is, also, standing by. he has been standing by. we have been talking to him, and we have got reporters, producers, crews, on the scene, in minnesota tonight. you you're not going to miss anything. quick break. back in a moment.
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through this he , slowly and methodically. you are not going to miss a thing that's happening here. this is the breaking news tonight. protestors are out in the streets of brooklyn center, minnesota. police, firing tear gas, after the death of 20-year-old daunte wright. daunte wright was shot by a police officer, during a traffic stop. that was yesterday. on sunday. and police started arresting people, a short-while ago. about-two hours after this curfew took place, they started to arrest people in the city of brooklyn center. officers are arresting people who have ignored dispersal orders and are violating curfew in the area. and that's a quote from our sources there and the -- excuse me -- minnesota operations safety net. they began arresting people who ignored the dispersal orders and are violating curfew near the brooklyn center area police department and humboldt avenue. you heard the mayor was on just moments ago, asking people to go home, as well.
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you can see, there is still unrest in the streets. it looks like they have it under control. but you never know. these situations are volatile, and they can change, at any moment. our shimon prokupecz is, live, on the scene now, in brooklyn center. what's on the ground? shimon, we saw some -- some scuffles, some skirmishes, earlier, when you were up. what are you seeing, now? >> yeah, i'm just trying to see, don, if some officers are putting on their gas masks, or if they are taking them off. oh, sorry. we got caught up in some cables here. sorry about that, don. so, what's happening is the state troopers here have been pushing people back. and they just keep, every few minutes, they push us further and further back. moving us further away from the police station. that's what's been happening. and then, you can see some of the heavily -- there are some of these more-heavily armed officers here. but also, there is an officer here with this weapon. with this large, what looks like, a machine gun. but it's actually what they use
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to fire that tear gas. and we have been seeing him use that. they've been pointing it at people, here. in the alleyway here and behind some of these buildings. and so, that's basically what's happening now. there is a standoff. some of the people who are -- some of them are still remaining here. they have no intention on leaving. so, what's happening, at some point, the police push them further back. but it's been relatively calm, i would say, the last-few minutes. you know, for the -- since 9:00, eastern time, there has been a steady stream and a barrage of tear gas and pepper balls, and some of those flash bangs. we have not seen any of that in the last-several minutes. so, it would seem, at least for now, police are going to just kind of allow the crowd to remain. we will see how long it lasts. it has not lasted for raivery l. and you can see, from the crowd here, don, many people are still remaining. chanting and -- and having -- have their hands up. waiting to see what the next
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move will be from the police. but, as you've said, this has been a really tough time for this community. and certainly, what's to come in the days and week, as we await the jury to reach their decision in -- in the chauvin trial. certainly, this is on the minds of many of the police leaders here. as you said about [ inaudible ]. now in charge of this. you almost get the sense here, don, that they want to set some kind of precedent here. they want to send -- sort of, send some kind of signal here that, in the days to come and in the weeks to come, that they are not going to allow people to just freely do what they want as they get past the curfew. because from what i can see, certainly, they have been throwing water bottles at the police. but at some point, the police just decided, after several water bottles had been thrown,
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around 9:00 or so, that they had had enough. and that is when you started seeing the tear gas and the flash bangs and the pepper balls. and the police, during that time, were not even in a confrontation with many of the protestors. because the police were standing behind the fence. and many of the protestors were standing at the fence, and they were yelling at the police. water bottles were being thrown. and then, at some point, the police had just decided that they had had enough. and then, we started seeing them move in. and then, now, you see this large presence here. >> shimon prokupecz -- is my mic up? okay. i'm not sure. is my mic up? yes? >> yeah, don. >> okay. shimon prokupecz is on the scene. >> i can hear you, don. >> sorry, yeah, we are having a little bit of trouble with your audio. wasn't sure if the viewers could hear me, so i just wanted to make sure. do we have sara sidner?
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no? who do we have? jonathan? okay. so we are going to bring in a couple of folks here. i want you to stand by, shimon. we are going to keep your pictures up and we will keep talking. sara sidner is on the scene. also, we have cnn national security analyst, juliette kayyem. we will be going to all of them, throughout this. i just want to go to sara, real quick. tell us what is going on where you are, and then we'll bring our other law-enforcement experts in. what are you seeing? >> all right. so i'm going to show you the police line. we are standing a few-feet away from the line of police that are, slowly, pushing people out of this area. the police precinct is just before them. okay. you see a bottle -- a water bottle, just been thrown. and here they come. and every time something is thrown, the police, then, make a move. and they are moving. they are moving, now, a little bit faster than normal. people started screaming and hollering trying to get out of the way. but usually, what follows this is tear gas, less-than-lethal
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rounds. and, you're, also, hearing somebody who is native american with a war cry there. but what you are seeing right now is the police pushing protestors, as far back as they can from the precinct, where hundreds of people were protesting, just moments ago. they're not completely dispersed. there are folks, all up and down. if we can show the crowd. it's just that they are all up and down the street, now. and the police are making a move. so, they are now -- hold on. i'm going to get away from this music. they are now moving to the left, and to the right. making a larger line. you see, the officers there, in front of the apartment complex. making a larger line. and as people throw things, they move. they keep moving the crowd, further and further away. as you might imagine, people are upset. people are angry. people are frustrated. this has been a really tense time, don. i have been here since the beginning of -- of the -- of the altercation with george floyd, that left him unable to breathe.
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with former-officer derek chauvin, and the other officers. we've been here for the jury selection. we have been here for the trial. and there's been this sense of underlying tension, this whole time, because people are watching this trial. feeling all these really strong emotions. and now, you have another police-officer shooting, that took the life of a 20-year-old. and you can see the video. you hear the officer saying taser, taser. and then, she cusses and says i shot him. >> oh, you know what, i shot him. >> saying she made a mistake but a 20-year-old is dead, and that's why you are seeing this today. >> a 20-year-old that was -- and they pulled him over for this routine-traffic stop. and then, they discovered, according to the reporting, and from the police department, that had he had a misdemeanor warrant. and that -- i guess, he was afraid of what would happen and tried to -- didn't obey police
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officers. what are you seeing, sara? sorry. >> you can hear the officer saying, move, move, move. and they are moving people. and every time that happens, please be careful, you're going to go down. okay. you are hearing the officers yell, move, move, move! and people are moving. watch it. watch it. a lot of noise, here. there is a lot of energy here. there is a lot of young folks here. there are black folks. there are white folks. there are people who are from the neighborhood. they are people from surrounding neighborhoods. there is a lot of people who were here during the george-floyd protest, who are out here, again. and they say they a aren't going anywhere. and i am quoting them. until they get some justice. now, what that means, at this point in time, i think, at this point, a lot of people can't tell you what they feel like justice means, right now. because again, another person is dead, at the hands of a police officer. and the -- the -- the frustration is just completely out of control, at this point, because they don't know what justice looks like.
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when is -- this is going to change. when there's going to be some change, between the relationship between black folks and police here. >> yeah. that is -- that's the key, here. that's what the -- the protestors want. sara, i want you to stand by, because we are going to keep your pictures up. we will keep you open to us. we may bring you into this conversation. if you need to bolt, to get away from something that's happening, just let us know. i want to bring juliette in. juliette, give me your reaction to what you see on the ground. >> two things the mayor said that may be confusing to audiences. the first is what's clearly going on, and just understanding what's the police motivation right now. it's -- it's site protection. there is a police department there. and so, that -- that's why they're dispersing the crowd. we don't know where the crowds will go. but that seems to be the primary focus. and i don't want to say anything's a success or failure. but so far, you know, nonlethal force and trying to disperse a
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crowd. the second is just something the mayor said that just is -- may have not made sense. basically, he said that there was a regional-command center in charge, when you asked him, who's in charge of the police department now? basically, what that means is, they've moved, what's called, the incident command, the local-police department, they moved it from them being the primary-response agency, to regional one. that would mean surrounding areas. and then, as the mayor said, the state police. that actually is a smart move, even though the mayor doesn't have control over the police. >> so that doesn't interrupt the flow of command? >> no. we -- we train it all the time. so basically, you have a local-incident command. then, a regional. and then, a state-incident command. i mean, there's -- there's a flip of the switch and maybe that decision was made, sometime during the day, that you would not want the local-police department to be in charge of the deployment of a -- of -- of -- regarding protests or a focus on the police department. it's just lessoned learned, over time, as police departments
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obviously came under protest, for -- for the kinds of abuses that we saw yesterday. and so, they just move it to a regional-command structure. so i know it sounded very confusing but the mayor was just sort of saying i'm not in charge of them because we now have a regional-command center. and some other-elected official, i don't know if it's a county commissioner that's in charge of them. and then, deploying resources as the operation needs right now. it looks stressful. it sounds very confusing but i'm sure, jonathan will agree, this is -- this looks familiar, in the kinds of responses that we expect, now, in -- in these environments. unfortunately, we've trained it too much, at this stage. >> let's bring jonathan in now. jonathan, you can respond to that. but i want to show you, shimon, our reporter out there, reporting that protestors are launching bottles, bricks, other projectiles but they aren't --
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they aren't doing it now. so respond to what juliette said and what police need to do, at this point. >> right now, juliette is spot on with what she is saying. law enforcement has actually prepared for -- for this moment, for a long time. and the reason being, you know, the death of daunte wright is the type of tragic, wild-card incident, that both the community at large, and law enforcement had feared. you know, during a time of already-heightened tension. so, the -- the incident-command structure was already preplanned within the region. and that's a structure that's set up so, when you have multiple agencies responding to a -- a -- you know, protests and demonstrations and civil unrest. it's a way to coordinate all of the activity. ensure that there is a unified-command structure, that is putting all of the pieces in place for, really, two reasons. one, you want to be able to protect the first-amendment rights of those who are protesting, and expressing their first-amendment right.
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but also, so that you are, then, able to, quickly, address the criminal matters of those who are engaged in criminal acts. such as, you know, civil unrest. so, the command structure is absolutely necessary. you know, always of concern, for law enforcement, during these moments is -- is really the unanticipated variables, right now, that can lead to the sudden shifts in landscapes. so as we are seeing, this coordinated effort. the line of -- of -- of -- you know, the police in their riot gear, pushing away protestors from that critical asset, which is the -- the police station. what they are going to try to do is try to disperse that crowd. create distance from those critical assets. but really, you know, what we are seeing is people throwing bottles. but for the most part, they are engaging in -- in nonviolent-direct action against law enforcement. and acts of civil disobedience. we are not seeing the
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widespread-civil unrest that we have seen, in the past. you know, the tenor of these protests have changed significantly because of social media. and -- and -- and really, the demonstration, these groups are of largely-leaderless groups. >> jonathan wackrow, juliette kayyem, stand by. our sara sidner is still on the scene. shimon prokupecz, as well. but i want to talk about this more broadly, and what's going on. the entire scope of what's happening in minnesota. and then, what has taken place around the country. this particular unrest, happening because of the shooting of a young man yesterday. and, of course, the trial going on, now, in minnesota. so, i want to bring in, now, george floyd's brother, philonise, who took the stand today for the prosecution. and ben crump, the attorney for george floyd's family, who is now, also, representing the family of daunte wright. philonise floyd, here, as well as ben crump. so, gentlemen, thank you, both, for joining. i appreciate it. you have been standing by. you have been watching this
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unrest. philonise, i'll get to you in a moment. you represent the family of da daunte wright. that family's called for calm. what is your reaction to what you see playing out in the streets in brooklyn center? >> honestly, this is a very emotional time. you would think we're in the midst of what many believe is the police excessive force civil-rights case of our time. the monst impactful tipping poit that we have had since the killing of george floyd. and then, in the midst of that, don, you have police officers, within-10 miles of the courthouse, stop this black man. where he ends up being killed by this officer, who claims she meant to pull her taser.
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and it's just unacceptable. we heard president biden say that it was tragic. the killing of daunte wright. and we all need to wait on the findings of the investigation. but he said that looting was absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for. for the wright family and a lot of people at the candlelight vigil. and we want the president to, also, saying that killing unarmed black people for traffic stops is absolutely uncalled for. >> uh-huh. ben, and listen. a traffic stop, you're right. now -- now, according to the chief, the chief said that wright was pulled over, on sunday, for a traffic violation related to expired-registration tags. and then, they discovered that he had outstanding-misdemeanor
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warrant. is that -- is that not your understanding? >> well, it evolves. and so, we have a witness who was in the car with him, who heard what the police were talking to him acbout. and so, you know, now they are trying, as they often do, try to unjustify -- i'm sorry, try to justify the unjustifiable killings of black people. that's number one. but secondly, don, it is so, very troubling. when you think about a misdemeanor warrant for possession of marijuana. we're talking about a misdemeanor warrant. for possession of marijuana. and so daunte, a young man. >> ben, let me ask you this because i have got to ask you this question. you are saying that it was marijuana. now, according to the reporting and court records indicate the judge issued a warrant for mr. wright earlier this month after
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he missed a court appearance. he was facing two misdemeanor charges, after minneapolis police said he carried a pistol without a permit. and had a run -- and ran from officers, last june. is that -- is that reporting incorrect, ben? was it -- you're saying it was misdemeanor for marijuana? >> i'm about to talk to the district attorney, right after i get off your show. and they gonna tell me what they are claiming. but i will say this, unequivocally. the fact that this man hadn't killed anyone, hadn't harmed anyone, and was not putting those officers in danger. he was trying to get away with them. and yet again, like jacob blake, like anthony mclean, like so many other young, black men who are running from police, not putting them in violence or far or threat, they shoot, first. and ask questions, later. the fact that you have young, white men, like the ones in than atlanta, who shot the people in the asian spas. you take them alive.
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but yet, you always end up killing us. when you have people, like the young, white man in parkland, florida, who shot up the school. you took him alive. but then, you shoot us. just like -- who shoot up the church in south carolina. you took him, alive. but you shoot this young man, who we believe should have never been stopped, in the first place. especially, when we are dealing with something so sensitive going on in minneapolis. so, don, it is an emotional time because we're just tired of them killing us, unjustifiably, over and over and over, again. how many hashtags are we going to have, before we pass the george floyd justice in policing and accountability act to have some reform, and some systematic reform, to change this culture of police' excessive force against black people? >> i think, everyone can agree with you that -- that for a traffic stop, and if it is, indeed, a misdemeanor warrant,
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that no one deserves to lose their life in the way that this young man did. and again, with police training, one would think that an officer would not mistake a taser or a gun for a taser. so, certainly -- it's certainly understandable. but as you know, ben, i have got to ask you, because there is certain reporting on this. and i want -- i want to know if the reporting is right, if that's what you are getting. so thank you for clearing that up. i want to bring -- yeah -- i want to bring philonise in, but go ahead. go ahead, ben. >> say whatever they trying to offer, to justify this unjustifiable shooting is unacceptable to us. >> philonise, in the middle of the chauvin-murder trial, of your brother, daunte wright was killed by police. does it make the pain, that you are already feeling, worse now? another family, dealing with a loss, after a police encounter? >> yeah, it makes it worse because i -- i'm thinking about
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black america. so many people, who have lost loved ones. and yet, we have to look at another mother, who lost her child. and i understand the pain that she has, but i'm not a mother. but i know, because i lost my brother. as i sat in that courtroom, today, and i had the opportunity to impact the -- impact what was going on with my brother. because people knew him, as the person who was tortured to death. nobody knew who he really was. so, i had to explain who he was, because that was my big brother. at times like this, we can't have this because i miss my brother. and she's going to miss her son. and we will stand, in solidarity, with her, and speak up because we have to stop this violence, right now. >> philonise, i -- i want to play some of your testimony. but i want to be able to leave the pictures up as we play your testimony, because we never know what's going to happen. and we want to keep an eye on it.
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so, you know, let's talk more about you taking the stand today to talk about your brother. it was emotional testimony. this is some of what we heard from you. here it is. >> he made sure that we, all, were going to be to school on time. and like i told you, george couldn't cook. but he'll make sure you have a snack, or something to get in the morning. he just was, like, a person that everybody loved, around the community. he -- he just knew how to make people feel better. being around him, he showed us, like, how to treat our mom. and how to respect our mom. he -- he just -- he loved her so dearly. >> philonise, listen. we met, you know, almost a year ago, after the killing of your brother. and here it is. the trial of the man who is accused of killing your brother. and now, we have more unrest. and i'm talking to you, again, during unrest in minnesota.
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it's -- it's just unbelievable. it's surreal, here. to take that stand today, to speak directly to the jurors. to tell them about your brother. what was today like, for you? >> it was -- it was one of the bitter -- most bittersweet times of my life. it was great that i had a chance to explain who he was. but it was just terrible, just being there. knowing that i had to speak up for him. because being in that courtroom, i seen my brother killed over a hundred times, every day, constantly. and i know, over a thousand times, within this year. my brother. i know he's looking down, right now, and he is proud of me. for -- for the things -- and my family -- for what we're doing. but at the same time, don, we have to get justice for my brother. because justice for george floyd means justice for all, right
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now. if a black man can't get justice for this, what can a black man get justice for in america? >> philonise, i know it's a tough day for you. not only, having to take the stand. but also, reliving unrest, again, in minnesota. we thank you, for joining us. ben, we thank you for joining us, as well. speaking to us about both of these cases. when you get an update on -- on what you know about brooklyn center, we would love to have you back. please, contact us, and let us know. and thank you for going through some of the reporting with me. we appreciate both of you. thank you, gentlemen. we'll see you, soon. we are going to continue to talk about these new protests in brooklyn center, minnesota, tonight. after the police killing of daunte wright. his aunt joins me, next. short break. we'll be right back, with our breaking news.
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we're back now with our breaking news here on cnn. protesters still out on the streets of brooklyn center, minnesota, tonight, defying a curfew that went into effect just a few hours ago. anger spreading over the fatal shooting of daunte wright, a 20-year-old black man, during a
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traffic stop. the medical examiner ruling wright's death a homicide. let's discuss now. on the phone with me is naee sha wright, daunte's aunt. i appreciate you joining us. sorry for your loss obviously. a horrible time for your family. we're seeing more unrest on the ground tonight. your family has been calling for calm. do you have a message for the crowd out there tonight and people watching? >> i'm going to be honest with you. right now, all i could think about is my family, what they're going through, what we're feeling. i haven't -- i haven't thought more about what's going on out there on the street. what i've thought about is getting off this road, getting to my brother, getting to my sister-in-law because my nephew was murdered. i can't think of nothing right now. that's all i could think of being there, supporting them. and it's hard being that you're at the bottom of the map and you
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got to come all the way to the top for something like this. >> so you said that you're on the road, right? you're traveling to minnesota tonight or to brooklyn center tonight, is that correct? >> yes. >> how long have you been on the road? >> i have been on the road since 4:00-something. i'm coming from alabama. i had to stop in tennessee to get my mother, and now we're on our way. i can't tell you where we're at right now. it's dark. but i can tell you this. i'm going to be there for my brother and my sister. >> you've been in contact with your family? >> definitely. definitely. >> how is everybody doing? >> oh, my goodness. how can you explain it? everybody's hurt. this is a young man that had life in front of him. he had a son. how can i exmain that?
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i can't explain it. my family is hurt. you've seen his mother, and for one minute y'all don't forget that my brother, he's there as well, his father. this is not a broken home. >> mm-hmm. >> this is not a broken home. they've been together over 23 years. over 23 years they've been together. my brother has been there. please do not disregard his feelings because my brother is in pain. >> we understand. i want to -- you talked about his family, his mom and his dad. you say that it's not a broken home. moments before daunte was killed, he called his mother, katie wright, to say that he had been pulled over. i want to play what she told -- this is for our viewers, cnn affiliate kare. then we'll continue on with the aunt after this. listen to this. >> i heard the police officer come to the window and say, put
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the phone down and get out of the car. daunte said, why? and he said, we'll explain to you when you get out of the car. so i heard the phone get either put on the dashboard or dropped. and i heard scuffling, and i heard the police officer say, daunte, don't run. and then the other officer said, put the phone down and hung it up. and then like a minute later, i called, and his girlfriend answered. she was a passenger in the car, and said that he had been shot. she put it on the driver's side. my son was laying there lifeless. >> so i know, ms. wright, it's hard to hear the mom, but you can hear the pain in her voice. what went through your mind when you heard the police chief say that the officer fired the gun by mistake, that she intended to use her taser? >> you don't want to know. you really don't want to know what i felt, but i'm going to tell you like this. you know the difference from a
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fully loaded pistol versus a stun gun. you know the difference. and if you're a police officer, you should know that. i saw she held that gun out in front of her for a little while. you mean to tell me she didn't see it? but let me ask y'all something. how would y'all feel if y'all got the call that that was your nephew, if that was your son, if that was your brother? how would y'all feel? and people are trying to drag my nephew's name through the dirt, it don't mean nothing. it don't mean nothing. he didn't deserve to die. my nephew was a damn good kid. he loved his family, and we loved him. accident? an accident? no. come on now. everybody in this world saw that gun. you mean to tell me you thought it was a taser?
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i've owned over a 20,000-volt taser. they don't feel nothing like a gun, nothing like a gun. so y'all tell me how would y'all feel if y'all got that call. that was my nephew. that was my blood. that was like my heart. my brother is my heart. katie is my heart. my mother -- my mother shouldn't have to be burying her grandchild. my brother and my sister, they shouldn't have to be burying their son. not over air freshener. they stopped them over air freshen. let's get that correct. his time wasn't expired. my sister just bought him that car. y'all want to see it.
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people want to try to look for something bad to go ahead and justify this. how about we just justify this man's life was taken? they took my man's life from him. my great-nephew has to now grow up not even knowing, not even being able to touch his father. you tell me is it all right to take somebody's life over, what, a misdemeanor warrant just for some weed? you got these politicians out here smoking weed. they ain't dead. you got all these people that just shot up the men that killed that asian women. may they rest in peace. you got the people at the grocery store. you got the people in bryan, texas. you mean to tell me all three of them is still living, but my
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nephew is dead because now they want to use the justification of it was a mistake. you don't mistake a stun gun from a gun. you don't mistake that. if i made a mistake like that, i'd be in the jail cell. they'd be trying to put me under it. this is not fair. we got several police officers and all in our family. i don't have nothing bad to say about them. but what i got to say is she needs to pay for what she did to my family. my family's blood is on their hands. my brother and my sister is hurting. how do we put life back together after this? some people say, oh, it's god's
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plan. that was not god's plan. this stuff should not be going on like this. >> ms. wright, i can't begin to imagine what you're dealing with, and i'm glad you got to say your piece, at least for this moment because i'm sure there's so much more inside of you and so much more that you want to say and that you want the world to know. and i hope that providing this opportunity in some way gets it across. i know, you know, i was going to say i hope that it brings you some peace, but i know that it doesn't. it doesn't bring you peace. >> there's no peace in this. there's no peace in this. say his name. keep saying his name. my nephew did not deserve this


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